About Rape Crisis

Established in 1976, the Rape Crisis Cape Town Trust is the oldest organisation in South Africa supporting the recovery of survivors, seeking justice and making change in communities.

We have a vision of a South Africa in which women are safe in their communities and where the criminal justice system supports and empowers rape survivors in all its interventions.  Our mission is to promote an end to violence against women, specifically rape, and to assist women to achieve their right to live free from violence by reducing the trauma experienced by rape survivors, encouraging reporting of rape incidents and facilitating the active engagement of communities in challenging high rape rates and flaws in the criminal justice system. We believe that the rape survivor is the key to a successful conviction and that her empowerment is based on safety, respect, support and the ability to make informed choices as she embarks on this difficult and challenging journey

We plan to achieve this through coordinated action between our three main programmes: (1) the Road to Justice, (2) the Road to Recovery and (3) Making Change.

 The Road to Justice

We aim for improved services to rape survivors both prior to entering and within the Criminal Justice System in order to minimise secondary victimisation and increase the effectiveness of trials so that reporting of rape increases and conviction rates improve. Special projects within this area of work include a 24 hour helpline, partnerships with the National Prosecuting Authority’s Thuthuzela Care Centres, which are one stop multidisciplinary centres for rape, domestic violence and child abuse and our Court Support Programme.

 The Road to Recovery

We aim for improved services to rape survivors in communities preventing extended psychological trauma, reducing post traumatic stress and promoting post traumatic growth in order to restore women’s sense of personal agency, heal the social fabric and build social capital. Special projects include a telephone counselling service, face-to-face counselling for rape survivors and families and support groups for rape survivors.

Making Change

We initiate community driven actions and interventions that challenge the drivers of rape in communities and address gaps in legislation and the poor implementation of laws. Special projects include community education, social mobilisation, peer education programmes for school learners, coalition building for national advocacy campaigns and the Speak Out Project for survivors wanting to speak publicly about their experiences.

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